I understand that most clients do not have formal design training; it’s my job to be patient and articulate my process and my ideas clearly. Educating the client helps me to qualify myself as an expert in what I do. This tact requires a little bit of extra leg-work, but in the end it almost always results in a stronger working relationship—one that’s built on an established respect and trust. A great example is the initial meeting with a prospective client. Without fail, the client will want to skip ahead and talk about the final product: “it needs to look like this…”, or, “It needs to have this…” and when I was a junior designer it was really tempting to take the bait. Of course, it’s crucial to consider all of your client’s needs, but there’s a time and a place for that conversation. My approach to these meetings is very different now. I almost always begin by explaining how I work—my creative process; I find that this creates a rapport with the client right off the bat, and affords me the opportunity get a read on the client.
Anthony Hooper is a Vancouver-based freelance designer who has an advanced diploma in Graphic Design and Illustration from Capilano University, and studied four years of commerce at the University of Calgary prior to that.
His work can be seen online at anthooper.com.